- The initiative seeks to spark the collaboration of the public/private sector and has been designed so that it can be replicated in any other rural area.
- Lecrinnova will promote sustainable agriculture, rural tourism, employment training and entrepreneurship.
Red Eléctrica de España, the company responsible for the transmission of high-voltage electrical energy and the operation of the Spanish electricity system, has launched a set of economic actions in the Valle de Lecrín (Granada, Spain) designed to promote the social and environmental development of the eight municipalities that make up the Valle de Lecrín. This new social innovation project, called Lecrinnova and that is pioneering in Spain, has been allocated an initial investment of 700,000 euros and seeks to become a sustainable development benchmark nationwide.
Its uniqueness lies in the specific design of the action criteria, and in a firm commitment to seeking public/private collaboration, the incorporation of digital and technological processes throughout the value chain and the desire to connect not only the different action groups, but also the various economic and social initiatives that will be deployed throughout the territory; in short, a programme that has been designed in a comprehensive manner from the outset.
The Provincial Council of Granada and the eight local councils of the Valle de Lecrín, an area with a population of some 22,500, have already joined the project: Albuñuelas, Dúrcal, El Padul, El Pinar, El Valle, Villamena, Lecrín and Nigüelas. The mayors of the municipalities and the President of the Provincial Council, José Entrena, this morning signed a protocol for action together with the representatives of the electricity transmission company.
This new social innovation programme, which is part of Red Eléctrica's 2030 Sustainability Commitment, seeks to help the Lecrín Valley make the most of its natural resources, achieve a sustainable and competitive development of its products and services, reverse the depopulation process of the area and promote social cohesion. "Only if we make the Lecrín Valley an attractive place for young people, shall we be able to revitalise the region both economically and socially. We must stimulate local talent and even encourage the arrival of new residents to the area", explained Eva Pagán, the General Manager of Transmission Division for Red Eléctrica de España.
Committed to developing rural areas
Lecrinnova defines a rural development model capable of encouraging the particularities of the region, which has abundant natural resources, a privileged location and an extraordinary capacity to generate quality agricultural products. Innovation will be the instrument that will connect people, companies and the territory, and this planning will strengthen the Local Participatory Development Strategy, Valle de Lecrín, Temple and Costa approved in 2017 by the Regional Government of Andalusia (EDLP 17).
This plan will deploy a set of actions designed to promote sustainable agriculture, rural tourism, training for quality employment and entrepreneurship as a new pattern of economic activity. This initiative will devote special attention to women in rural areas, by means of specific training and social inclusion programmes designed for them.
Firstly, local development needs and opportunities will be identified, collaborative work methods will be established and, finally, support and help will be provided to the residents of the area of the Lecrín Valley so that they may implement, both individually and cooperatively, viable economic and social projects. The purpose of all these actions is to strengthen the job market skills of the population, recognise the existing economic opportunities and improve the competitiveness of the products and services of the area in a sustainable way. All this will be done in connection with the markets and taking advantage of the most advanced technological tools in order to boost productivity.
Lecrinnova will have a validity period of 30 months and the planned actions will continue until December 2020. The objective is that once the intervention of Red Eléctrica de España comes to an end, it shall be the local Councils of the Lecrín Valley, the Provincial Council of Granada and the public and private institutions of the region that will take over the project and continue to promote this territory both economically and socially.
"We want this to be a project that leads to integration; a project in which the social and economic agents take part. Our objective is to bring together the largest number of guilds and companies and sign different partnerships with institutions and entities to multiply the effects and benefits of Lecrinnova", said Miguel González, Red Eléctrica de España’s Delegate in Andalusia and Extremadura.